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Mission, Vision, and History


The Mead School nurtures in each child the power to create a personally meaningful life by fostering deep learning and the social awareness necessary to thrive in an interconnected world.

Mead School Mission StatemeNT

We value:

~ Education that invites children to bring their authentic selves to school.

~ Work that is both academically challenging and joyful.

~ A schedule which allows time to pursue choice and personal interest.

~ Education that emphasizes reflection, inquiry, and deep learning.

~ An intimate environment where faculty and staff strive to make learning relevant.

~ Specific learning behaviors which ask students to imagine, think, receive, act, respect, express, and intuit.

Fifty Years of Joy, Innovation, and Mastery

The initial vision for The Mead School came from Dr. Elaine de Beauport, Ed.D.   In the late 1960s she was performing research into brain function and processes, as well as teaching at Rosemary Hall, these experiences that inspired her to create a new and better kind of educational environment.  

Photo of Dr. Elaine de Beauport presenting to group of parents at The Mead School

Dr. Elaine de Beauport presenting to group of parents at The Mead School

Dr. de Beauport observed that while she had the brightest students in her classes, most were very passive learners, lacking a real connection or passion for what they were learning.  She believed they needed a much more experiential environment to inspire them and to engage their curiosity so that they would become active learners.

A visionary at the intersection of brain function and education, Dr. de Beauport identified what she described as ten different 'intelligences' — some mental, some emotional and some behavioral.  Her research went on to prove that children were driven to learn and would thrive in a learning environment that tapped into their individual curiosities and passions.  

Dr. de Beauport put her research into practice by founding The Mead School with Otis Maxfield, a Senior Minister at the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich, CT.   Dr. de Beauport and Mr. Maxfield shared a dream of starting a school dedicated to life-long learning, and The Mead School opened its doors in 1969 for students attending kindergarten through fourth grade.  In 1970, nursery, pre-K, and fifth grade were added, with sixth grade added in 1971.  By 1980 Mead added the seventh and eighth grades, and in 1986, again on the forefront of understanding the import of quality early childhood experiences, Mead opened the Early Learning Center, as well as an after school program.

A pioneer in progressive education, Elaine de Beauport was interviewed on the Today Show in 1978 and spoke about The Mead School's unique approach to learning. 

The Muppets, and then Mead students, singing our school song - It’s In Every One of Us

Jane Pauley and The Today Show visit The Mead School (1978)

In 2019, Mead celebrated 50 years of educating the whole child, and honoring the importance of creative thinking to all endeavors.    We remain committed to the values we have always held - to put the student at the center of their educational experience, and to nurture our students in pursuing a deeper mastery with creativity, curiosity, collaboration, courage, caring, and centeredness.

More on Mead History as Featured in Stamford Advocate

"The Henson family brought the fundamentals of "Sesame Street" to their local community by performing at school fairs and helping found the The Mead School for Human Development, Inc, which opened in 1969 in Greenwich. The revolutionary school emphasized that the study of the humanities was just as important as subjects like math and writing, and it also stressed that each student learns in a different capacity..."

Click below for the full feature.